Fifth Third Bancorp Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (FITB)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
    • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 24.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
    • FIFTH THIRD BANCORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, FIFTH THIRD BANCORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.18 versus $0.61 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.50 versus $1.18).
    • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 62.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $265.00 million to $430.00 million.
    • The gross profit margin for FIFTH THIRD BANCORP is currently very high, coming in at 86.30%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 25.40% trails the industry average.
    • After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that FITB's price has not changed very much. Although its weak earnings growth may have played a role in this flat result, don't lose sight of the fact that the performance of the overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, was essentially similar. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.

Fifth Third Bancorp operates as a diversified financial services holding company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.5, equal to the average banking industry P/E ratioand below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Fifth Third has a market cap of $11.94 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Fifth Third Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.
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